Sports: Ex-Cadets Take on Boston Marathon

Above (l-r) Cpl Helene Fortier, Capt Jessica Grace, 23492 Maj Joel Maley (RMC ’06), 19497 LCol Eric Travis (RMC ’94) and 25390 Capt Isabelle Turner (RMC ’13). Missing in the photo: Maj Dave Simpkins and Lt(N) Michael Bergeron

Article by 25390 Isabelle Turner (RMC 2013)

My participation in the 123rd Boston Marathon on 15 April 19 was my first participation in the iconic event. After racing the marathon distance for a few years, I finally met my required Boston Qualifying time in the Edmonton Marathon in August 2018.

The building phase leading into the marathon included many long treadmill runs due to the long winter in Kingston as well as racing some track meets and a road race with the RMC Running team (2 x 1500 meters events and the Westpoint Half-marathon).

I went in the race feeling strong and prepared to run a personal best. The Boston Marathon and my body had other plans in store for me. The legendary Boston Marathon course is point-to-point race which takes you from Hopkinton to Boston. The elevation profile on this course includes a lot of downhill in the first half of the race with significant hills in the second half, which increases the difficulty of this race. The first half of the course must be run smart in order to avoid trashing your legs.

The morning of the race, thunderstorms and pouring rain were soaking all the runners as we were waiting to step off. This stopped abruptly and was followed by a hot sun and humidity which persisted for the remainder of my race. The unexpected heat and the uphills in the second portion of the marathon took a toll on my body. Cramping in my left calf made it very uncomfortable to push my pace. Overall, I didn’t achieve the result I trained for, but considering the humbling course and the conditions faced, I was satisfied with my race. I completed the race in a time of 3:31:47 finishing 9690th overall, 2446th in my gender. The Boston Marathon was an amazing experience which I would recommend to anyone. The supporters lining the whole course were outstanding and made this event indescribable.

Another aspect that made this race so memorable was getting the chance to share this experience with my teammates. The Canadian Armed Forces was represented by seven athletes including three females and four males. Pictured in the photo from left to right : Cpl Helene Fortier, Capt Jessica Grace, Maj Joel Maley, LCol Eric Travis and Capt Isabelle Turner. Missing in the photo: Maj Dave Simpkins and Lt(N) Michael Bergeron.

Boston, I’ll be back stronger and  faster. That’s a promise!

A big thank you to the RMC’s Athletic department for their continued support through my season


  • Sandra Sukstorf (Hawes - MacLeod)

    May 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Yes, it was my 6th consecutive Boston and my husband, Simon, (Class of ‘84) ran his 7th consecutive. We ran for fun as we had just completed Tokyo.